Chippenham Harriers Beginners Course, River Run 2023

Our Beginners Course will return on Friday 3rd May 2024

A fully supported journey to running 5k for all levels


Joining the Chippenham Harriers Beginners Course is a great opportunity to improve your fitness, make some new friends, and achieve something you can be truly proud of. If you’re keen to give running a try, returning to it after a break, or would like some support progressing your running, this course is for you.

Our next beginners course will start on Friday 3rd May 2024. We’ll have three different groups so that you can choose a level that suits you, and you’ll have the freedom to move groups at any time along the course as you wish. There’ll also be lots of support from our team of leaders every step of the way, helping you progress towards your 5k goal (it’s 100% achievable, we promise!).

The course sign-up fee is £25, which includes:

  • A fully-supported 9-week course to guide you towards running 5k
  • Weekly group runs led by qualified Run Leaders every Friday evening
  • Entry to the River Run 5k on the evening of Wednesday 3rd July 2024, a finisher’s t-shirt and medal
  • A weekly email from our leader team keeping you up to date on each week’s session and everything else you need to know
  • Free participation in coached Physical Prep sessions for the duration of the course
  • Access to a private Facebook group for course participants
  • Connection with an amazing community of runners and new friends waiting to be made!

Here’s how to sign up:

  • Complete and submit our joining form here (when selecting a membership type, choose ‘Beginners’)
  • We will then set up an England Athletics account for you and send you an email with a link to complete the last few steps
  • When you receive this email, click on the link – you’ll need to set a password, agree to a privacy agreement, agree to a code of conduct (select ‘Senior Adults Code of Conduct’), confirm your contact preferences, and pay your £20 sign-up fee
  • You’ll receive a confirmation email once your payment has been processed – then you’re all signed up!

Below are some FAQs that may be helpful, but if you have any other questions, just drop us an email via or message our Facebook page, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

The next Chippenham Harriers Beginners Course will start on Friday 3rd May 2024, finishing with the River Run 5k on Wednesday 3rd July 2024. We look forward to welcoming you along!


How fit do I need to be?

The Chippenham Harriers Beginners Course is accessible to everyone, from total beginners to returning runners. You don’t need any experience, just come as you are! You’ll be able to join the group most suited to your level and our leaders will guide you through the sessions with support, encouragement and top tips along the way to help you reach your 5k goal, whether that’s a PB or simply to finish!

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing such as a t-shirt and leggings or shorts. We also recommend investing in a pair of running shoes (we can advise further on this), otherwise wear comfy trainers. Sports bras are also great for women. It’s also important to be seen whilst out running, so be sure to wear a high-vis vest or jacket when running in the dark. There are shower and changing facilities at the Sports Club should you require them.

What else should I bring?

It’s a good idea to bring along a drink of water to keep hydrated, and a warmer layer for after the session.

What happens if I can’t make a session?

If you can’t make a session, don’t worry! We understand everyone might not be able to make every week. We’ll let you know what we did and you can get out another time in the week to complete the session.

What others have said...

“I did the beginners course in 2019 and it was nerve-wracking to walk into a running club (when I wasn’t a runner) and try to run! But everyone was so lovely and welcoming, it made it easy. I made a brilliant friend on the course and after the course continued to run with the club. Since joining the club, running has changed my life and had such a positive impact on my life. I am now a run leader on Fridays and love giving back something to the club that gave me so much!”


“I’d never run seriously. I couldn’t even manage to follow the Couch to 5K app. I was so nervous about trying the Beginners course that I contacted the Harriers in advance to check that I was not too heavy. From that first contact, they were friendly and encouraging, and joining the Beginners course is one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s a fun, manageable progression to 5k with lots of support from the brilliant Harriers volunteer leaders and helpers. Along the way, I’ve learned so much to improve my running and made some great friends too.”


“I was 57 when I joined the beginners in September 2015. It was hard to walk through the door on my own that first time, but so glad I did! It was one of the best things I have ever done! I met people who are now my friends (and will be for life) and I am still running!”